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Maybe Tommy for Senate is Happening

Admittedly, I’m still in the camp of “Believe it when he announces,” but this story in today’s Politico does make it look like a “Tommy for Senate” Campaign might be moving out of the “Hey, that’s a nice idea / match-up” stage, and actually into the “planning stage.”

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who served four terms as Wisconsin governor, is securing financial pledges and ramping up his outreach to longtime political aides in preparation for a possible campaign against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

Thompson has alerted his Washington-based law firm of his moves and is contacting key clients about the prospect of challenging Feingold, the most tangible signals yet that he’s seriously exploring a 2010 campaign.

“The governor has taken additional steps in the past week and will continue to do so over the next several weeks. If the meetings go well, you can expect to see an exploratory committee set up near the end of March,” former state commerce secretary and Thompson campaign manager Bill McCoshen told POLITICO.

Another longtime Thompson ally said the governor already has $200,000 in potential donations for a campaign that doesn’t yet exist.

“If you talked to me two weeks ago, I would have put it at a 50-50 shot. Now it’s at 70,” said the Thompson aide, who requested anonymity to avoid offending his friend. “He’s asking serious questions like, ‘Who would run the campaign? Who would do the fundraising? When would we announce? How much could we raise?’”

“Gov. Thompson has taken every opportunity in the media to try to remind voters he’s popular and get his ego stroked,” said Sachin Chheda, a Democratic consultant and chairman of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party. “We’re not seeing anything other than the usual dance where he likes to see his name in the paper, which occurs every few years when an election comes up.”
The Politico reports Thompson insiders say any sort of announcement for a Senate run won’t occur until the State GOP Convention, which is May 21-23, in Milwaukee.
Tommy does like the big lights and the big events ah?
Frankly, I think waiting that long is a bad move.  Especially, if he’s not running since he’ll be taking away momentum which could go to the Terrance Wall candidacy if that’s all Republicans in Wisconsin end up with.  It’s not fair to the Wall or Westlake campaigns, just as it wasn’t fair to the Green and Walker campaigns in 2006.  Somewhere, Thompson probably knows this.
You just wonder if his ego cares.
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